Most of us has attempted to complete some form of student bucket list. Tasks from Pub Golf, pulling all-nighters in the library and going out in our PJs, all of which needed achieving before the final semester was through.
So, how about a bucket list for graduates? A guide of things that you need to do to get the most out of life and keep on top of your new responsibilities.
Here it goes — your Graduate Bucket List:
Keep an open mind when it comes to your career
1. Be prepared to zig zag through your career
Leaving a role that brings you no joy does not have to be a negative experience; it can teach you a lot about what you want in your career. Graduate Verity Prentice from Hallmark Care Homes explains how her journalism degree didn’t take her where she’d expected:
“Working at a publishing house selling advertising space was hard work, but I learnt a lot about marketing and how to sell to the most difficult clients over the phone. I then got a job working in recruitment, before I realised how much I missed journalism and that if I combined my sales skills and journalism skills I could become very good at PR.”
2. Ditch the plan
Life does not go according to plan and lack of experience will hold you back when it comes to your career. While you may hope to get straight into a high level job, it’s important to be realistic about your experience and how this relates to career opportunities.
“I had no marketing experience other than my degree. I ideally wanted a graduate role but my first job was as a digital marketing assistant.”
– Marketing graduate Patrick Robinson, Linx Printing Technologies
Patrick recognised he didn’t have enough experience to get on a graduate scheme, so he initially took an assistant level role. If this sounds like you then ditch the pride and recognise that you need the experience of an entry level job before you can set your sights on a more senior role.
Start thinking about your financial future
3. Just because you have more money doesn’t mean you should spend it
Student living was tough. But the fact is, you’ll soon find life as a graduate tough, too! Gone are the perks of student discounts, cheap rent, and splitting bills with numerous housemates. Yes, you’ve got more money now that you’re earning, but expenses are higher too. Resist elaborate spending where possible — you’re not a millionaire yet!
4. Learn to live below your means and save at least 10% of your income
Saving money may not be the first thing on your mind upon leaving university, but tucking away 10% of your income into a savings account every month will really pay off.
Graduate incomes and expenditures can initially be very erratic. Live below your means where possible and you will have funds available when you need them, allowing you to avoid costly borrowing.
5. Learn to save raises, not spend them
As you zig-zag your way up the career ladder, your salary will increase. We’re not saying to sit in the cold rather than put your heating on just to save some pennies, but don’t splurge on luxuries either. Remember everything you learnt about budgeting as a student. Your financial future depends on you being disciplined.
Time is more valuable than money
6. Don’t waste your free time
Gone are the days of mindlessly watching Netflix instead of attending lectures. Trade in time spent watching TV, and use it to build your life experiences. This could include volunteering for a charity — not just to enhance your CV, but for the feel good factor!
Spend time with friends and family; your free time is at a premium when you work 40+ hour weeks, and relationships are equally as precious. Time is more valuable than money, so call your mother, visit your grandparents, and feel warm and fuzzy inside.
7. Learn new skills
The end of university is by no means the end of your educational journey. Take courses, learn new skills, or try out a sport and progress yourself; your life will feel fuller for it. You could even learn a new language — but avoid these common mistakes!
8. Make your dreams come true
Never take a gap year? It’s not too late to travel the world. If you’re a travel bug, consider saving up for that big trip instead of spending your disposable income on big nights out, DVDs and computer games.
Birds of a feather flock together
9. Value some relationships
Relationships are important, but not with people who always bring you down. Staying in contact with people you used to know — be it from school, university or past jobs should be a good thing. But times change and if those people are not on the same page as you anymore, and spending time with them negatively impacts your life then cut them off now! Troublesome relationships can drag you down and hold you back.
10. Spend more time with your successful, ambitious friends
Their energy, ideas and enthusiasm can really rub off on you. Be sure not to try and compete with them; instead, allow their ambitions and experiences to help drive your own career forward.
Reunions can be a great way of seeing where course mates took their careers. They’re also an ideal time to network, make contacts and connections.
So have at it, graduates. Let the next stage of life begin!
Featured photo credit: Danka & Peter via magdeleine.co via magdeleine.co